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EEW! That must have hurt!: Another one bites the dust in the mythical land of television (Jerome A. Holst © 2005)

Al Holst, Owner of TV ACRES

To add a little excitement to November sweeps, the NBC show LAS VEGAS decided to kill off one of its characters. The character was Monica Mancuso (played by Lara Flynn Boyle), a beautiful women who recently purchased the Montecito Casino. Now, I don't know why NBC chose to kill her off. Possible reasons: Boyle wanted too much money, Boyle was tired of the role, or scriptwriters were just in the mood to kill someone. Who knows? But die, Monica did, on Monday night.

If you didn't see the program, Monica's demise was sort of weird. Basically, she did a Flying Nun off the roof of the Montecito Casino when a gust of wind caught her billowing dress and swished her to her doom. Well, that's Las Vegas. Sometimes you win, and sometime you lose, BIG TIME.

In honor of Monica's death, I decided to put together a DEATH LIST of other characters who have died in strange or unexpected ways. To be fair, I have not included overly referenced deaths like Colonel Blake on M*A*S*H or the alleged deaths of Bobby & JR Ewing on DALLAS.

So, for better or worse, here's are my top ten picks (in alphabetical order) of TV's most sudden, shocking and weird ways to go.

  • Ballykissangel - Pub owner Assumpta Fitzgerald was electrocuted by a faulty fuse. She and the local priest were getting a bit too chummy and let's just say the powers that be "Nipped that in the bud!"
  • Cheers - Hockey player turned professional ice skater was killed by a Zamboni ice machine while on tour. Tragic, yes but funny as all get out!
  • ER - Dr. Robert Romano was killed by a falling helicopter that squashed him flat as a pancake outside the Emergency Room in Chicago. To paraphrase a classic movie quote "Ding! Dong! the creep is DEAD!"
  • Friends - Mr. Heckles, died of a heart attack while pounding on the ceiling with his broom in an attempt to tell his fellow tenants above that they were making too much noise. He dropped to his death in mid pound. Chandler Bing later feared he would share a similar fate and die alone. Luckily, Chandler married Monica Geller. As Chandler left Mr. Heckles apartment for the last time, he turned and said "Goodbye, Mr. Heckles, we'll try to keep it down."
  • Hill Street Blues - Sgt. Phil Esterhaus died from a heart attack during sex. He used to tell all of his officers "Let's be careful out there" when they left the station. A runner up for dying while having sex is Vicki Groener Rubenstein's rabbi husband, Ben on Suddenly Susan
  • L.A. LAW - Attorney Rosalind Shays fell down an elevator shaft. When the elevator arrived, she was talking to a fellow lawyer and simply stepped into the elevator not noticing that the elevator had failed to arrive. Her death came suddenly and was much appreciated by many fans of the show.
  • Mary Hartman - Garth Gimble was impaled on an aluminum Christmas tree. The perfect gift for such a surly character. Tis' the season to be jolly.
  • St. Elsewhere - Mrs. Hufnagle was crushed by faulty hospital bed. Her recurring role brought only misery to all the attending nurses and interns. Her death although tragic was in a sick way, soothing to viewers.
  • Seinfeld - Susan, George's fiancée died from toxic glue on flap of wedding invitation envelopes. Frankly, given the choice of a life with George Costanza and death, I think the scriptwriters were merciful.
  • Thirtysomething - Gary Shepherd died unexpectedly in a tractor-trailer auto accident. His character was loved by both the viewers and the characters on the show. His death was like a punch in the stomach that leaves a person doubled over with pain, and struggling for air to breath. A very sad moment, that to this day bring sadness at its thought.

NOTE:  This article may be linked for distribution to other Internet publications with the agreement that you credit the article to the author, Jerome A. Holst and mention its URL


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